AEW Full Gear 2020 Preview feat. Jon Moxley vs. Eddie Kingston

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Tonight, AEW presents its final pay-per-view event of 2020 with Full Gear from Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, Florida.

When it comes to depth, this could be the deepest show they have produced and has the potential to be an outstanding card.

The All Out card in September saw the most criticism for a combination of factors. Top of mind was the concern over Matt Hardy and his spot with Sammy Guevara that cast a cloud over the rest of the event coupled with a pay-per-view that ran too long for the pandemic era of shows, and several matches failing to meet the audience’s expectations.

For this card, it’s nine matches including the Buy-In, and doesn’t seem to be a card that will be short on time given the significant matches spread out. One of the key complaints from All Out was the high temperatures in Jacksonville for the outdoor event, which is mitigated this time of year and hopefully, makes for a better live experience for the limited fans in attendance.

Later tonight, the upNXT crew of Braden Herrington & Davie Portman will be joined by Wai Ting for a LIVE Watch Along of Full Gear beginning at 8 pm Eastern on the upNXT YouTube channel. The three will then be streaming the Full Gear POST Show immediately after the Watch Along and that show will also be available on the free POST Wrestling feed.

We will also live coverage of the show tonight on the site.

Below is a preview of the card:

Jon Moxley vs. Eddie Kingston for the AEW Championship in an I Quit Match

Eddie Kingston has been one of the great stories of 2020. From his first appearance on Dynamite challenging Cody, with the pre-and post-match promos, and then earning a contract and tearing it up as one of the top promos anywhere in the world. The go-home segment was one of the best segments of the year from any company and evoked an emotion that you strive for in those situations. All roads point to Moxley retaining for a rematch with Kenny Omega but Kingston has caught fire and at the very least, this match deserves its billing as the main event of the show and has been confirmed to be going on last.

FTR vs. The Young Bucks for the AEW tag titles

The stipulation is the Young Bucks will never challenge for the titles if they lose. Now that we’re here, the build-up has been rightly criticized and you can argue they held off on the match for too long and got too creative with ways to delay it and it watered down the initial interest. If they go out and have a blow away match, few will hold the Bucks’ heel antics and promotional build against the finished product but it’s a high bar for a match that’s been teased for years. The nature of Matt Jackson’s injury leads to an FTR style of match breaking down Matt and working the knee, which the Bucks never receive enough credit for Matt’s awesome selling and building to the Nick Jackson hot tag. It was the staple of so many of their New Japan matches and should be on display for this one. It makes little sense to have FTR win given the stakes that have been established, which didn’t feel necessary but it’s an added spark for audiences to back the Young Bucks to overcome the injury and the consequences of losing.

Kenny Omega vs. Hangman Page in the finals of the World Title Eliminator Tournament

The depth of this card is very impressive and this match has as high a level of expectations as anything on the card. Tony Khan noted on Wrestling Observer Radio that they shifted Page’s direction to a babyface role after the success of the drinking character from BTE. Long-term, Page is going to be one of the pillars of the company along with MJF, Jungle Boy, Sammy Guevara, and perhaps Wardlow in that mix as well. The clear path would appear to be Omega winning and challenging Jon Moxley and avenging his loss in the Lights Out match from last year’s Full Gear. Page is not too far off from being part of that mix and while I expect Omega to win, I don’t entirely dismiss Page as a surprise. Regardless, this match should be a stellar one and have ample time.

Cody vs. Darby Allin for the TNT Championship

Cody is playing the arrogant champion so strong that it leads you in the direction of Allin getting the upset win. I wish this one had a few more weeks to simmer on Dynamite but instead, Cody was attached with Orange Cassidy while Allin was left to lurk in the crowd. This presents a large question for bookers of the top companies when it comes to paying off a long chase for a babyface and getting that “big win”. Do you hold off until there are real crowds? Or, can you not operate with that mentality because there is no timetable and thus, you can’t book with those handcuffs? If this was May, I would argue the former and be patient but it’s November and you must move forward with your booking and adjust to the surroundings. It’s not ideal, but it’s the reality you’re stuck with.

Chris Jericho vs. MJF

At first, the automatic reaction is this was too soon for the first match between them. However, I like the match pairing for several reasons. First, is the utmost confidence that they know where this is going and have a beginning, middle, and end. Second, the entire relationship between Jericho and MJF is each one-upping the other and not conceding a thing – even how they eat their steak. What is more antagonistic than one holding a victory over the other as they reluctantly work together? It creates a powder keg to explode at the right time and do the real feud after this “friendly”. The chemistry is among the best of any two performers regardless of company and you can get several months of the two combining forces, and therefore I see MJF winning with Jericho having some plausible gripe with the ending that can linger.

Hikaru Shida vs. Nyla Rose for the AEW Women’s Championship

On paper, this should be a strong match that they’ve exhibited before. Beyond that, it feels like a flat match and that Rose got the rematch by the process of elimination among the other contenders. This division has been rightly criticized and it’s not just because the match is centered around the title as opposed to anything deeper. When Cody said on the conference call that not every match will have a “War and Peace” level storyline and fans are conditioned to expect two people to fight over a piece of cake in catering and that constitutes a story, I think he overlooked his own point. He stated suspension of disbelief doesn’t sell tickets, but the personal experience and connection do. We know so little about Shida, and for that matter Rose, as well. If the idea is that the women’s champion is defending her championship that’s great, but they have struggled to show any dimensions to Shida that would expand that connection with the audience.

Matt Hardy vs. Sammy Guevara in the Elite Deletion Match

It’s being filmed on the Hardy Compound and will be judged against some great cinematic presentations with many involving Hardy. This has been a feud more concentrated on the injuries and hiccups rather than the substance of the program. They are in a more controlled environment and with Hardy’s ideas and Guevara’s willingness to do just about anything, hopefully, the end-product is a success.

Orange Cassidy vs. John Silver

This was moved on to the pay-per-view portion and would be the perfect opener in a sold-out building. The two cult characters should have a fun match and can hopefully, take more of the Silver character from BTE and apply it into a match environment. I suspect it’s an easy win for Cassidy and a chance to showcase Silver.

Serena Deeb vs. Allysin Kay for the NWA Women’s Championship (Buy-In pre-show)

This is a great addition to the show and a big spotlight on Kay, who recently became a free agent. While I expect Deeb to retain, it’s Kay’s opportunity to shine and I feel both her and Leyla Hirsch would be great pick-ups for their women’s division.

AEW Full Gear 2019
Saturday, November 9, 2019
Baltimore, MD at Royal Farms Arena
*Dr. Britt Baker over Bea Priestley
*Santana & Ortiz over The Young Bucks
*Hangman Page over PAC
*Shawn Spears over Joey Janela
*Scorpio Sky & Frankie Kazarian over Rey Fenix & Pentagon Jr. and Private Party to retain the AEW Tag Titles
*Riho over Emi Sakura to retain the AEW Women’s Championship
*Chris Jericho over Cody to retain the AEW Championship
*Jon Moxley over Kenny Omega in a Lights Out Match